Maximize Your First Week: Tips for Preparing for a New Semester

August 25, 2021

Contributed by Carly Anderson, University of Utah Collegiate DECA

In colleges and universities around the globe, students are gearing up for the start of a new semester. With the first day of school soon approaching, now is the perfect time to set yourself up for a successful semester. Follow these tips to maximize your first week of school!

Organize

1. Clean Your Virtual Space

Is your computer cluttered with files and documents from previous school years? In a world that is shifting toward virtual learning tools such as Blackboard and Canvas, keeping up your at-home workspace space will be to your advantage this semester. Completing tasks such as deleting unwanted files, categorizing your documents into folders and clearing out desktop clutter will allow you to start the year with a clean slate.

2. Become Familiar with Your Campus' Resources

Colleges and universities house a wide variety of resources and services that you can utilize throughout the year! To maximize your first semester, be sure to familiarize yourself with the unique services that your campus offers. Many schools offer resources such as career advising, tutoring, mental health services, public transportation access and more. Visit your school's website to learn more about what resources you can take advantage of as a student.

Prepare

1. Take Time to Destress

Finding yourself feeling some first-day nerves? Taking time for self-care will help you feel ready to conquer your classes. Activities like spending time outdoors or making plans with friends are great ways to recharge. Setting aside time to reflect by participating in mindfulness activities such as guided meditations or journaling are other ways to feel ready for the semester ahead. Above all, remember that you got this!

2. Get a Good Night's Sleep

The start of a new semester takes a lot of energy. Making sure that you get a restful night's sleep of 8+ hours before your first day will ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the semester strong. Taking it easy by relaxing the night before your first day will help ensure get an essential snooze.

Connect

1. Be Present During Syllabus Week

During your first week on campus, remember to be present during your classes. While you may find that your first week is more focused on reviewing syllabi and less on class content, it is still imperative to put forth your best effort! Taking actions like introducing yourself to your professors, writing down important dates in your calendar and participating in class discussions will help you build successful habits. It can be difficult to develop a routine later in the semester, so make sure to start your year off on the right foot.

2. Make a Friend in Each Class

While the lessons you learn in class are important, developing connections with your peers is just as crucial. During your first week, try to make a friend in each of your classes. Having a familiar face in every class will help you maximize your college experience. Throughout the year, you and your peers can support each other by forming study groups and teaming up for group projects. Every campus is full of so many amazing individuals. Be sure to make the most of every connection you make!

By taking the time to prepare, organize and connect this school year, you will be ready to maximize your first week! Best of luck!

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